Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


by Alex Scarrow
From the publisher:
"Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912.
Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.

Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, ‘Take my hand ...’

But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren’t rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose—to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That’s why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world...

Several of my students love this series, so I thought I should read it and see why. It starts out with a bang on the Titanic and then goes back and forth between time and decades throughout. I've read several time travel books, and I think this one is my favorite as far as making sense and explaining the "science" behind it. I thought the plot and the changes in history were well thought out and really interesting. What would have happened if Hitler had won? (Well, it wasn't really Hitler winning, but you'll have to read that for yourself.) And the notion of saving teens from death to have them become TimeRiders that live the same 2 days over and over again watching for changes was kind of brilliant. The characters were likeable and appealing (especially non-human Bob), but I would have liked more background on most of them. I'm going to assume things will eventually come out as the series progresses, though. I think it would have slowed things down to have it all dumped in this first book. All in all I enjoyed it, and I'm hoping it will help students become a little more interested in historical fiction because of the adventures the TimeRiders have. One little problem is that this series is published in the UK with 9 books in the series, but only 4 have managed to make it across the pond so far. I don't know why they don't publish the rest of the series in the US, but I went ahead and ordered the rest of the series (actually I don't have the ninth one yet) online from bookdepository.com. The kids who have discovered this series absolutely love it. I liked it.

Areas of concern:
The use of Jesus Christ, Christ, Jayzus as expletives.
Some cussing, but not over the top.
Violence is rampant, but not gratuitous. The TimeRiders are placed in many scary situations that they have to get out of.
Some scary Gollum-esque nuclear-mutated humans that are cannibalistic (I may have just made up a few words there).

Suggested Ages:
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 12+
School Library Journal - Grades 8+

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